I've been on an intense zero waste mission lately. Can I pickle this?! Can I purée this?! In our kitchen, we may not be in a place where we can break down whole animals, BUT we are in a position where we can use vegetables from leaf to root! This is what I mean by "zero-waste"– using every part of produce possible.
The weekends are my favorite days in the kitchen because I get to sort through the walk-in and make new things out of random bits and pieces. I've also been placing bowls by everyone's prep station and as they put waste in the bowl, I get a general idea on how we can waste less. It also gives me a chance to think creatively by turning waste into something beautiful and delicious!
So, today I took JJ Lone Daughter's first of the season Valencia oranges and supremed them and then candied the peel that we can use as cheeseboard or dessert garnish. Then, I tasted these sensational purple radish leaves and thought- earthy, but neutral. Then I got carrot tops and leftover spinach and we made some awesome lemon yogurt dips that are perfectly refreshing for crudités!
Cooking with zero-waste in mind is easier than you think. Produce that looks limp and sad might just need a second chance! Check out my video on Salted on how to revive wilted greens– you'd be surprised on how easy it is!
I know, I know– I get excited about the little things. But this zero-waste mission feels very purposeful to me as a chef. Our New Year's Resolution is to cook with zero-waste in mind! What can you turn into something new?